Thursday, January 01, 2009

Nine New Year’s Resolutions for 2009

In 2009, our city government will strive to accomplish these important tasks for the benefit of all Carmelites, as follows:

Contract with the City of Monterey for Fire Protection Services;

Finalize Design Plans for the renovation of the Forest Theatre based on a true consensus of Carmelites, User Groups and the City and commence construction in October 2009 for a tentative completion date of May 2010.

Increase funding for the Department of Public Works and the Forest, Parks and Beach Department in the Fiscal Year 2009/10 Budget;

Hire a Community Planning and Building Director and a Public Works Director;

Fund for ADA measures and improvements to the Scout House in the Fiscal Year 2009/10 Budget so that Carmel’s “Community Center” can reopen to user groups.

Enforce the Municipal Code in a fair, equitable and uniform manner.

Reissue a Tree Removal Permit with the original conditions approved by a majority vote of the City Council to Carmelite Susan Page so that she can finally remove her Black Acacia Tree due to private safety concerns.

Function with City Council Members whose sole allegiance is to Carmelites;

Comprehend that the council, commissions and boards exist to aid in the conduct of the “people’s business.” Moreover, we, the people, in delegating authority, do not give our public servants the right to decide what is good for us to know and what is not good for us to know. Therefore, all relevant information must be communicated to us fully and in a timely manner.


Loving Annie said...

Last year at Aubergine in Carmel at L'Auberge Carmel, I had a fabulous 8 course tasting meal, and so I eagerly looked forward to dining there again.

Approximately a week prior to my visit, I called to make the reservation, and spoke with the person answering the phone about an 8 course tasting menu again, and my dietary preferences for a primarily vegetarian oriented meal. He said that he had it on file from the last time that I dined there, and they would be happy to do so.

I then e-mailed the Chef directly perhaps 3 days before my reservation, and asked for a copy of his planned menu to be sent to me prior to dinner, as it makes it easier for me to take notes during the meal, since then I have all the necessary ingredients covered with needing to ask unnecessary questions.

No answer to my e-mail.

An hour before my reservation, I received a voice mail telling me that an unexpected last minute private party for 30 had taken over the restaurant, and they would be moving me to the bistro for dinner.

I wasn't particularly pleased, since the dining room is so lovely, and the bistro not as much so, but as long as the food is superb, it wasn't that big of deal.

When I pointedly yet politely said that I had not yet received an e-mail detailing the menu, was told that it would be sent to me within 5 minutes. It wasn't.

I arrived, and was shown to my table. Again inquiring about the menu, I was told that Chef had decided to make it up as we were speaking.
Clearly, he had not prepared anything, which in itself was not a simple misunderstanding or innocent mistake, but deliberate.
Nonetheless, I assumed he would do something lovely.

Then the sommelier came out and said Chef wanted to do a special wine pairing for me with each course. I had not requested anything but water to drink, and assumed it was a nice gesture made to make up for the lack of menu preparation.

Although I am not a wine drinker, I agreed to try them, although I said it was unlikely I would have more than one or two sips of each, and certainly nowhere close to the three ounces each they normally pour per glass.

Th first course was brought - something definitely not on the list of things I could eat. I was a little shocked, but thought it was a minor error, and said nothing.

The second course was brought and again, nothing I could eat. I was concerned and said something to the maitre d', and he showed me the list of what I had requested, and said they would be going according to that.

(Chef came out to speak to another table and asked me how I liked my meal. Nonplussed, and not wanting to embarrass him in front of the other customers who were seated close by, I again assumed he would be correcting his mistakes from here on out, and the rest of the meal would be lovely. I was dead wrong in giving him the benefit of the doubt..)

They did not. The entire meal was taken strictly off the existing heavily fish and game oriented menu, and I refused the last few courses outright.

I was fuming inside, for I would not have dined at the very expensive Aubergine had I known Chef had no intention whatsoever of preparing a tasting menu that I could eat.

It is one thing if when I had made my dietary requests, the kitchen/Chef had regretfully said this was something they could not do. They had not done so, and instead my promised expectations were deliberately not met.

I had several desserts which were good, and then requested a bill. The 8 course dinner came to $272 dollars, including a $95 charge for the wine pairing, and a mandatory 20% gratuity.

What a total outrage for a meal that except for dessert I could not eat, unrequested wine pairings, and such unprofessional behavior from a restaurant that prides itself on its stellar reputation.

This is most certainly not how you treat a customer at any time or for any reason, let alone a repeat customer.

Anonymous said...

These are great resolutions but some of them will never come to fruition if the mayor and her city council have anything to say about it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment by loving annie about no one, not a first time patron or a repeat diner, should be treated like she was by the folks at this Carmel restaurant. I wonder if the hospitality standards are of this calibre city wide or if this was just a terrible exception? In any event, it should not have happened and I hope other Carmel restaurants and shops do not treat their customers likewise.

Anonymous said...

I want to add #10: Open HML on Sundays from 1-5 p.m. Our library is a community center too and many would like to see it open on Sundays.